I've been trying to optimize my disk subsystem for some time, and one of the prefered methods is to use striping and large cluster size (I am going for "speed" with an IDE based disk system.)
Is there a way besides formatting the disk/partition from scratch to solve defragmentation issues on cluster sizes larger than 4 KB?
PS. My enviroment is basickly Windows 2000 workstation and Advanced Server with an IDE-based disk subsystem. I also use Highpoint 370/372 controller on my fileserver.
Unfortunately, Windows NT/2000 defrag API has a limitation of a 4 KB cluster size. Any clusters sizes greater than 4 KB cannot be defragged. Windows XP does not have this limitation anymore. Symantec's Norton SpeedDisk does not use the Windows defrag API, and thus can handle cluster sizes north of 4 KB, but this has one drawback: there is no guarantee that the defragmentation will not harm your volumes, since they do not rely on the built-in routines. So you must decide on your own how you want to proceed.
This was first published in April 2002